Ashton, Carter

AHL Game Night: 10-23-11 Admirals at Checkers

Admirals run into a hot goalie.


Dustin Tokarski allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the loss.

First Period

Second Period
NOR Ashton, (6) (Barberio, Conacher), 8:19 (PP)
CHA Jordan, (1) (Blanchard, Pistilli), 11:42
CHA McNicoll, (1) (Pistilli, Terry), 19:39 (PP)

Third Period
CHA Bowman, (4) (Matsumoto, Samson), 18:40

Carter Ashton was the game's third star.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 45-30, but Checkers goaltender Mike Murphy made 44 saves.

Mark Barberio snapped a 3 game scoreless streak with a helper in the contest.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-21-11 Senators at Admirals

Beat. Down.


Dustin Tokarski went a little way toward cleaning up his early season statistics in light work with a 14 save shutout.

First Period
NOR Smith, (1) (Fornataro, Labrie), 4:48

Second Period
NOR Wyman, (2) (Tyrell, Fornataro), 4:06 (PP)
NOR Ashton, (5) (Conacher, Dimmen), 15:26 (PP)

Third Period
NOR Smith, (2) (Picard, Quick), 4:27 (PP)
NOR Smith, (3) (Fornataro), 10:30
NOR Conacher, (4) (Ashton), 14:55
NOR Tyrell, (1) (Angelidis), 15:06

Trevor Smith (pictured), Matt Fornataro, and Tic were the game's three stars. Smith with the hat trick. Carter Ashton, Cory Conacher, and Dana Tyrell chased that with 1 goal and 1 assist a piece. Methinks the mythical Bolt Prospects Player of the Week Trophy (Tentatively known as the Alex Kharitonov Cup, because "It's big as a house!") is maintaining its temporary residency in Norfolk for one more week.

In case you're wondering, Ashton is tied for second in the AHL in scoring right now, 1 point back of Manchester's Andrei Loktionov. He's also tied for third in goals and first in power play goals. Not a bad rookie debut. He's a large part of why the Admirals are currently tops in the league in goals scored.

The marketing slogan for the team this year is "Armed and Ready." They weren't kidding. Shots were 53-14 in favor of the Admirals, which explains how you get to 7-0 on the scoreboard. Tonight's game wasn't a contest, it was a mass execution. And, these two teams will do it all over again tomorrow. Have mercy on Bingo's players' souls.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-15-11 Admirals at Bears

Ouellet is money in overtime.

HER-5 (OT)

Jaroslav Janus allowed 5 goals on 37 shots for the win. There's still no clear changing of the guard between the pipes, in my opinion, after this performance.

First Period
HER Mink, (1) (Aucoin, McNeill), 6:42 (PP)
NOR Gudas, (1) (Ouellet, Fornataro), 13:21
NOR Gudas, (2) (Smith, Fornataro), 18:38
HER Collins, (1) (Mink, Aucoin), 19:46

Second Period
HER Bourque, (4) (Aucoin, Wellar), 6:01
HER Ford, (2) (Sjogren, Greentree), 11:04
NOR Conacher, (2) (Wyman, Angelidis), 16:44
NOR Ashton, (4) (Dimmen, Johnson), 17:12

Third Period
NOR Conacher, (3) , 8:59
HER Micflikier, (2) (Aucoin, Mink), 13:15 (PP)

NOR Ouellet, (2) (Angelidis), 1:06

Cory Conacher and Michel Ouellet were the game's first and second stars.

Mark Barberio had his points streak snapped, but Carter Ashton and Tyler Johnson continue their offensive mastery.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-14-11 Bears at Admirals

Does this open the door for Janus to take the starting job?


Dustin Tokarski allowed 6 goals on 22 shots for the loss before being lifted for Jaroslav Janus, who allowed 1 goal on 11 shots the rest of the way. The numbers are ugly. Tokarski has a 6.35 GAA and .788 sv% in his first two starts, after being injured for much of training camp. My guess is that if Janus' next start is successful, he may be the #1 for a little while.

First Period
HER Bourque, (2) (Micflikier, McNeill), 4:47 (PP)
HER Flemming, (1) (Bourque, Wellar), 10:11
NOR Wyman, (1) (Smith, Tyrell), 15:32
NOR Johnson, (3) (Ashton, Barberio), 17:02 (PP)

Second Period
HER Eakin, (1) (Flemming, Richmond), 2:02
HER Bourque, (3) (Aucoin, Micflikier), 8:07 (PP)
NOR Barberio, (1) (Ashton, Johnson), 9:32
HER Micflikier, (1) (Mink, McNeill), 12:05 (PP)

Third Period
HER Eakin, (2) (Bourque, McNeill), 2:07
NOR Ouellet, (1) (Gudas, Wright), 2:25
HER Aucoin, (2) (Mink, Bourque), 6:06
NOR Panik, (1) (Picard), 16:26

On the bright side, Mark Barberio (3 GP, 1-5-6), Tyler Johnson (3 GP, 3-2-5), and Carter Ashton (3 GP, 3-3-6) continue to rack up points at an obscene clip. 2 points a game for any player is ridiculous. 2 points a game for a d-man like Barberio (pictured) is fantastic.

Norfolk hits the road for a rematch with Hershey tomorrow night. Again, the big intrigue will be between the pipes, where Jaroslav Janus will likely play, and if he does well, there may be a change in the depth chart for a while in net.

Box score from

NHL Game Night: 10-13-11 Lightning at Islanders

At what point are these guys going to feel embarrassed?


Dwayne Roloson allowed 5 goals on 18 shots for the loss before being lifted for Mathieu Garon, who stopped all 16 he faced the rest of the way.

First Period
NYI Tavares (1), (unassisted), 0:36
TB Stamkos (1), (Bergeron), 7:10
NYI Moulson (1), (Tavares, Eaton), 9:28
NYI Tavares (2), (Moulson, Parenteau), 15:15
NYI Parenteau (1), (Tavares), 18:39

Second Period
NYI Grabner (1), (Okposo), 6:47

Third Period

Let me put this in very simple terms: in the last 3 games the Lightning have allowed 14 goals, and if you take Tomas Vokoun's softies out of the equation, they've only scored 4. They should have been -10 over the past 3 games, and that's terrible no matter how you slice it.

You would think they would've shown more pride than to allow the team that they fought tooth and nail to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals to steamroll them in Boston. Nah. Their division nemesis who they battled in the playoffs and that has tormented them over the past 3-4 seasons? Nah. No pride displayed in either of those games. No forecheck. No focus. No attention to detail.

Having one of the best coaches in the league I wouldn't have expected that kind of effort in back-to-back games, and I damned sure wouldn't have expected it in 3 straight games. But, 36 seconds in, the Lightning started the cycle all over again, and this time they do it against a perennial bottom feeder in the Islanders. Seriously, other than Downie, Ritola, Moore, and maybe one or two others, did anyone else on the team mentally show up for the first 30 minutes?

Will they feel embarrassed now? I don't know. If I were GM, I'm not sure I'd wait for the team to decide to play focused, determined hockey. There are players like Carter Ashton and Tyler Johnson who already are playing focused, determined hockey in the minors. Why on earth they should be working for pennies on the dollar behind guys who should be -10 the past 3 games and have been stealing money from the organization. The complacency and the arrogance have to stop now.

Brett Connolly was +1 with 3 shots and 1 blocked shot in 14:41. To finish a plus in a game you get clobbered 5-1 isn't shabby.

Mattias Ritola was -2 with 2 penalty minutes, 8 shots, and 1 hit in 15:11. The +/- is ugly, but the effort he made on the forecheck and in the offensive third wasn't. I was impressed with how he played. If only a few more players on the team cared about more than their image.

Box score and extended statistics from

Carter Ashton Receives 2 Weekly Awards

The American Hockey League announced today that Norfolk Admirals right wing Carter Ashton was named the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Oct. 9, 2011. Ashton scored three goals and recorded an assist in two games to help Norfolk to a pair of victories.

The AHL stole our thunder as we at Bolt Prospects were set to name him our Prospect of the Week today. Yes, we're putting ourselves in the same category as the AHL Player of the Week. It's our site.

AHL Game Night: 10-8-11 Checkers at Admirals

The kids are still alright...


Jaroslav Janus allowed 3 goals on 29 shots for the win. With Dustin Tokarski being hurt in camp and after giving up 5 goals on opening night, there's a bit of an opening for Janus to win a few more starts. He helped his stock tonight with a perfect 13/13 in the final frame to slam the door shut and secure the win.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (3) (Barberio, Conacher), 12:58 (PP)
CHA Bowman, (1) (Sanguinetti, Matsumoto), 16:12 (PP)

Second Period
CHA Roy, (1) (Matsumoto, McNicoll), 9:40 (PP)
NOR Picard, (2) (Wright, Fornataro), 10:38
NOR Johnson, (2) (Vernace, Conacher), 15:44
CHA Bowman, (2) (Matsumoto, Bellemore), 19:50

Third Period
NOR Conacher, (1) (Ashton, Johnson), 5:50

Cory Conacher (pictured) and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars. Their linemate, Carter Ashton, also chipped in his 3rd goal of the season, and as a group they accounted for 3 of Norfolk's 4 goals.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 44-29 in the match.

Box score from

AHL Game Night: 10-7-11 Checkers at Admirals

Comeback kids bury the Checkers.

NOR-6 (OT)

Dustin Tokarski allowed 5 goals on 29 shots for the win. He should be thankful his guys picked him up tonight.

First Period
NOR Ashton, (1) (Conacher, Barberio), 6:37 (PP)

Second Period
CHA Matsumoto, (1) (Sanguinetti, Boychuk), 4:26 (PP)
CHA Samson, (1) (Peters), 8:20
NOR Johnson, (1) (Barberio, Tyrell), 10:00 (SH)
CHA Samson, (2) (Sanguinetti, Matsumoto), 14:48

Third Period
CHA Boychuk, (1) (Krueger, Terry), 6:08
NOR Angelidis, (1) (Smith, Picard), 8:01 (PP)
CHA Matsumoto, (2) (Bowman), 12:44
NOR Labrie, (1) (Quick, Fornataro), 13:19
NOR Picard, (1) (Ouellet, Smith), 16:38 (PP)

NOR Ashton, (2) (Petiot, Wright), 1:55

Carter Ashton (pictured) and Tyler Johnson were the game's first and second stars. The kids are alright.

Mark Barberio starts his season with assists in triplicate.

Alexandre Picard had the biggest goal of the game on the power play to cap a 2 goal third period comeback and send the game to overtime. Who started the comeback? Pierre-Cedric Labrie with a nifty move to cut past the defense and cut the deficit in half. Somewhere Bolt Prospects writer and secret P-C Labrie fan Chad Schnarr is cringing and chuckling.

Norfolk outshot Charlotte 45-29 in the victory.

Box score from

NHL Preseason Game Night: 9-23-11 Panthers at Lightning

God even hates Panthers fans in preseason.


Dwayne Roloson stopped 31 of 33 for the win. Hide the children and the silverware, old man Roli is back in town.

First Period
08:06 TB Ritola, (Kubina, Connolly)(PP)

Second Period
06:31 TB Shannon, (Kubina, Bergeron)(PP)
12:55 TB Shannon, (Stamkos, Clark)

Third Period
00:23 TB Ashton, (Brewer)
04:20 FLA Skille, (Robak)(PP)
16:20 FLA Repik, (Robak, Derlyuk)
18:46 TB Lecavalier, (Purcell, Hedman)

As the Lightning move a little closer to icing their opening night lineup, now reading the tea leaves gets more interesting.

Carter Ashton and Brett Connolly each got over 14 minutes of ice time, while Cory Conacher, Dana Tyrell, and Blair Jones got less, especially Jones. Connolly and Conacher remain decisive underdogs, but the battle between Ashton, Tyrell, and Jones for positioning is fascinating. Boucher knows what he has in Tyrell, and to a lesser extent Jones. For Ashton to get himself a goal and play 14+ quality minutes is a key step for him in trying to establish a comfort level with Boucher.

And, then there's the matter of Mattias Ritola, who is a different player now than when Boucher had him in the lineup the first half of last season. He got over 14 minutes and quite a bit of PK ice time. Like Ashton, for him to get a goal and play 14+ quality minutes helps establish a comfort level with the coaching staff. I'd say he was probably the big winner on the night.

Box score from

AHL Playoff Game Night: 4/23/11 Admirals at Penguins

A brave Norfolk Admirals team has nothing to be ashamed about effort-wise in this playoffs.


Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Wins the Series 4-2

Dustin Tokarski allowed 4 goals on 27 shots, including an unsuccessful third period penalty shot by Joe Vitale in the third period. Considering the winning goal was essentially a 3-on-1, there's not much more Tic could've done tonight. He finishes the playoffs with 1 shutout, a 2.20 GAA, and a .924 save percentage, and he looks like a lock to be Norfolk's starter next season. In all likelihood, Cedrick Desjardins will be the backup in Tampa Bay next season, and Tokarski's play down the stretch seems to indicate he's the type of netminder who wants and needs to be the clear cut #1 in order to be at his best after struggling a bit as a tandem starter with Desjardins. He's regained the title of the Lightning's "Goaltender of the Future" and the priority for next season, his third pro season, will be for Tokarski to prove he can be that consistent #1 goalie before potentially moving up to the NHL in the 4th season of his pro career. At least, that seems to be what the plan is for Tic.

First Period
WBS Wagner, (1) (Walker, Craig), 2:13 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (2) (Potter, Walker), 3:58 (PP)
WBS Wagner, (3) (Wallace, Potter), 18:36

Second Period
NOR Pouliot, (4) (Ritola, Vernace), 14:18
NOR Jones, (1) (Ritola, Milam), 16:03 (PP)

Third Period
WBS Vitale, (2) (Wallace, Collins), 7:23
NOR Wright, (1) (Fornataro, Pouliot), 10:35 (PP)
WBS Wallace, (1) (Vitale, Potter), 18:57 (EN)
WBS Sill, (1) (Strait, Thiessen), 19:21 (EN)

Marc-Antoine Pouliot was the game's third star.

When you consider the Penguins came into this series the best team in the Eastern Conference, and the Admirals had to win their last game just to avoid having to cross over into the Atlantic Division, the Admirals have nothing to feel ashamed of in playing this series so tightly. The hard work and character of this Admirals team is worthy of mention, and the team and organization have come such a long way in 4 seasons since the Lightning started their affiliation with Norfolk.

Coincidentally, the East's crossover team, Binghamton, just knocked off Manchester in Game 7 to advance to the Atlantic Division final against Portland. One wonders what shape a Norfolk/Manchester series might have taken if Norfolk hadn't beaten Connecticut to close the regular season.

The big question now is what this Norfolk Admirals team will look like next season, with several of their older players facing contract decisions and several of the Lightning's best young prospects ticketed for Virginia next season.

Will veterans like Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Chris Durno, Mike Vernace, Mathieu Roy, and Troy Milam be back with the team next year? What about long-time pros like Blair Jones, Mike Angelidis, Mattias Ritola, and Vladimir Mihalik? Mihalik and Ritola just finished their 4th years of pro hockey and Jones and Angelidis finished their 5th. Many of these players will surely have opportunities to play in European leagues next season. We know Johan Harju will, for instance, and the question is whether Johan will stay in North America after a disappointing second half. And will Kevin Quick's time in the Lightning organization be over as well?

Conversely, the Admirals will need to free up spots for several of the Lightning's top prospects. Carter Ashton and Charles Landry have already made appearances for the club this season in the playoffs. Richard Panik and Tyler Johnson seem like locks to be in Norfolk next season, too.

Next season could be a big change for the Admirals organization, as the last vestiges of previous regimes pass on. Change is inevitable for a minor league club, but the Admirals seem destined for even more change than is the norm. The good news is that they seem to have good goaltending locked down and even better coaching after a successful inaugural campaign by Head Coach Jon Cooper and assistant Mike Flanagan along with player development consultant Steve Thomas. This group seems to have taken a decent foundation laid by earlier teams and made it even stronger this year, and that foundation can help the new Admirals grow to be even more successful than this year's edition, in time. Look at how well guys like Mark Barberio and Radko Gudas took to the league this season. It portends good things.

Box score from

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